Dear Parents & Carers
Welcome back to Term 3. A special welcome to our new staff members, Miss Amanda Bell and Mr Steve Kirkaldy and to the new students who have joined our O’Connor Community. We look forward to working collaboratively with you on your learning journey.
This week across our Diocese is Marriage and Family Week. A time to give thanks to God for our families and the support and love they provide us. To celebrate this week, there will be a Family Mass at 10am on Sunday 30th July at St Mary and Joseph Cathedral. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend. Morning Tea will follow the Mass provided by St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.
This week our Pastoral Academic Care focus has been on social connectedness. A sense of belonging to a school community has shown a strong correlation in educational research with student motivation, academic achievement and effort, self-efficacy and positive student behaviour (Moallem I, 2013, A Meta-Analysis of School Belonging and Academic Success and Persistence). At O’Connor, our Pastoral Academic Care (PAC) Program works to build students’ sense of belonging and, in turn, enhance students’ learning outcomes. Every week in PAC time, there is an opportunity to work on different character strengths to ensure that students are building their sense of self and to give them the skills to flourish in our world.
In order for students to reap the full benefits of our PAC Program and to ensure that every student shows growth in their learning, they must be at school, on time, every day. Some student’s attendance is well below expectation. Also some students are late consistently and this means that they miss out on much of the Pastoral Academic focus. PAC time runs from 8.50- 9.10 every morning. Attendance matters, unless a student is sick or involved in an approved activity, they need to be at school. A day here or there does make a difference to their learning. I draw you attention to the document you received earlier this year which included the following information
Good attendance at school is vital for a student’s development:
Students who attend school regularly are more likely to finish Year 12 and have a greater number of options after finishing school.
School only gets harder when you miss too much school.
Improvements in learning won’t occur unless students are actually in class.
I seek your support in ensuring that students are here every day, on time and in class.
Term 3 is a significant one for our Year 12 Students. It is a time for finishing courses, completing final assessments and consolidating their learning in preparation for the Trial exams (Week 6 and 7 of this term) and for their HSC examinations in Term 4. Many of our students will be completing major works for submission as part of their HSC courses. This includes Design and Technology, Music, Textiles and Design and Visual Arts. Some students will also complete their HSC Performance Examinations in Dance and Music. We wish all these students the very best and know that their focus on learning will result in them performing to their best. I’d like to thank their teachers for all their work in preparing students for these exams and the written exams in Term 4.